in the government and corporate and nonprofit sectors, including the city government of washington tv and the national mental health association and the national alliance on mental illness where she served as a chief operating officer. she is an ordained minister and she most recently served in the community of washington. seated next to her is patricia williams, professor of law at kobe university and she writes the monthly diary of a mad law professor column. she is the author of several books, including most recently, a family friend, and the search for the rim of my own. which is a personal collection of stories and anecdotes and biographies. next to professor williams is rebecca tracer. many of you may recognize her from her many television appearances. she's the author of big girls don't cry, the election that changed everything for american women's. she writes about politics and gender and has contributed to the new york observer, "the new york times", vogue, and among many other publications. please join me in welcoming her this afternoon. [applause] thank you all for coming.